Creative writing courses expose students to a variety of types of writing and provide them with opportunities to create their own works. Creative writing majors often take courses focusing individually on fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting and nonfiction.
Peer critique sessions and writing workshops are common in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Graduate programs may also include a teaching practicum or internship, in addition to the typical thesis or dissertation requirements.
This course is intended for majors and non-majors and functions as a broad-based introduction to various forms of writing, such as short fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama. Students also experiment with writing these genres. The class is usually comprised of technique and style discussions, reading assignments and writing exercises. Enrollees are introduced to the concept of a writing workshop, wherein they share pieces with peers in order to give and receive feedback.
This foundational course in short story writing is geared toward creative writing majors. Students learn about character, dialogue, voice, style and description in fiction. The course provides them with the opportunity to delve deeper into the analysis of selected short fiction and to work on stories of their own. Time is set aside for class discussion of student work as well as for re-writes.
The study of playwriting involves many of the same focuses as short story writing, such as dialogue, character and plot. Lectures about the playwright's craft are combined with writing exercises and analysis of selected plays. Traditional and experimental forms are both explored. Staged readings of student work help beginning playwrights see how plays come across in a performance setting.
Screenwriting courses provide an introduction to writing feature-length screenplays, and include the elements of scenes and plot, formatting a screenplay, and the development of treatments. Screenplays and films are referenced for analysis, and student work is often reviewed by peers
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